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Centralia mine fire talk by area author


Author David DeKok will present a program on the Centralia mine fire, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, at Martin Library, 159 E. Market St.

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DeKok will share what he has learned about the Columbia County ghost town’s infamous mine fire in the course of 40 years of covering the fire as a newspaper reporter and author.

DeKok is the Harrisburg-based author of two books on Centralia, “Unseen Danger: A Tragedy of People, Government, and the Centralia Mine Fire” (1986) and “Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire” (2009).

The mine fire started in the summer of 1962, forcing residents to abandon the town. In 1980, the town's population was around 1,000, and by 2016 Centralia was a near ghost town with only 10 residents. The fire continues today and experts say that it could burn for decades to come.

Admission is free, but registration is requested.

To register, visit or call Sarah Fretz at 717-849-6949 or Stephanie Auker at 717-849-6982.